Shoppers stay loyal to the bluelight - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Shoppers stay loyal to the bluelight

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January 14, 2003

Albany- Over the past year discount store chain Kmart has taken a financial turn for the worst. 283 stores closed in 2002 and now 326 more will follow suit. Leaving 37,000 Americans jobless.

16 Kmarts across the state will get the ax, including the Valdosta location.

"I've always liked Kmart, and I think it's a good store," says Mildred James.

She isn't alone. Albany Kmart shoppers say they will remain loyal. "I just enjoy shopping there and the things that they have, and that's where I get my medication at all the time, so I'm always in Kmart," admits Bessie Morris.

Others say its the over-crowded Mega-stores like Wal-mart, that make them shop at Big K.

"It's always full. It almost impossible to get checked out because it doesn't matter how many cashiers they have you're still standing in line, standing in line, and that's it. My husband and I have always used Kmart," adds Sherry Page.

Whether the shoppers like it or not, some stores only have 3 months before their bluelights will go out.

The company needs to close the stores while under bankruptcy protection to allow it to get out of its leases. Kmart plans to be out of financial trouble by the end of April, but it will emerge one-third smaller than it was before.

Posted at 9:45 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com